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[299] evacuate this place, as large quantities of ammunition and provisions are being sent away. The Federals are reported to be within ten miles of us—fifty-five thousand strong.

February 26th.—It is reported that a fight is now going on at New Madrid, and that General McCown's division has been ordered to reinforce our troops, but I am disposed to believe that it is the advance of our retreat. Dark clouds are hovering over our young Republic, but we must struggle on, trusting in God for the success of our cause. General Polk, it is said, has received a dispatch to the effect that France has recognized the Confederate States.

March 3d.—Jackson, Tennessee. On last Thursday I was detailed for picket duty. Soon afterwards the regiment was ordered to pack up baggage, and be ready to move at a moment's notice. I passed a miserable night, sleeping in the open woods with only one blanket to protect me from the chilling blasts of winter. Returned to camp at 3 o'clock Friday evening, and was detailed to go on the cars with the regimental baggage, expecting to leave that night. A long weary night passed away, and no train. Saturday, March 1st, dawned cold and cheerless, and we were doomed to wait another day and night for the expected train, with nothing to eat, save a few hard, indigestible crackers. On that day, our army burnt their cabins, and evacuated Columbus. I walked over the deserted town in the evening; it was a grand and gloomy sight, the lurid flames were shooting into the air from thousands of log cabins, and in some instances, private dwellings were consumed by the devouring element. Ere night the work of destruction was well nigh complete, and what had the day before been the homes of thousands of Confederate soldiers, now lay a heap of smouldering ruins. At two o'clock, our baggage was all on board the train, and we were ready to consign Columbus to the tender mercies of the Lincolnites. I made my bed on the top of a box car, and with one blanket slept soundly and sweetly, although the rain fell in heavy showers. Sunday morning I awoke feeling badly, and as the rain was still falling, I sought shelter in a car attached for the sick. At half past 2 o'clock, we started at a snail's pace, and reached Humboldt at seven o'clock this morning having travelled seventy-nine miles in nineteen hours. I suffered greatly from hunger and thirst. At Humboldt I got a good breakfast, and at nine o'clock, we were off for Jackson. I was obliged to ride in an open platform car, and notwithstanding Miss Fackler's comfortable helmet, Mrs. Pope's gloves, and mother's overcoat, I suffered intensely from the cold. Enjoyed a fine dinner

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